Set in America, Israel, and Palestine, Wrestling Jerusalem follows one man’s journey to understand the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Davidman’s solo performance is a personal story that grapples with the complexities of identity, history, and social justice. Giving voice to a dozen characters, the play sheds light on one of the most entrenched conflicts of our time. Written and performed by Aaron Davidman and directed by Michael John Garcés, Wrestling Jerusalem was commissioned by Ari Roth, former artistic director of Theatre J in Washington D.C. as part of their annual Voices from a Changing Middle East Festival. After workshop performances at Theatre J, the play was developed in part by Traveling Jewish Theatre, Sundance Institute Theatre Program, and Playwrights Foundation, where Davidman used public performance readings to continue to hone the piece.
ATC blazes innovative paths in the realm of social theater, striving to forge strong alliances between Arab and Jewish artists, offering alternative paradigms and encouraging open and fruitful expression within our larger society. Prayer is a magnificent multisensual experience of dance, music and singing; of incense, candles and cloth; of fire and water; of vocal and visual effect. The sound of Jewish prayer is interwoven with intonations of tremoring "Allahu Akbars" rising to the sky in a cacophony of pleas punctuated with percussion." -Igal Amitai, Kolbo
HaMapah/The Map is a multimedia dance journey that traces the intersections of dancer Adam McKinney's African American, Native American, and Jewish heritages. HaMapah/The Map weaves contemporary dance with archival material, personal interviews, Yiddish and American songs, and video set to traditional, contemporary, and classical music. In the piece, McKinney explores issues of identity, ancestry, and family.
Singer Adrienne Cooper and Michael Winograd, NY music scene audacious talent, team up in a debut project with spectacular players Dan Rosengard (piano), Avi Fox-Rosen (guitar), Benjy Fox-Rosen (bass), Greg Mervine (drums), Jon Singer (marimba), and Sarah Gordon and Niki Jacobs (vocals). New arrangements to songs by Moyshe Leyb Halpern, Fima Chorny, Josh Waletzky, Polina Shepherd-Ashkenazi, Beyle Shaechter-Gottesman, Hirsh Blohstein, Meir Kharatz, Dovid Edelstadt. The project showcases a remarkable phenomenon - the contemporary resurgence of a Yiddish song movement, featuring work by living Yiddish composers and lyricists from the ages of 23-85, living in Brooklyn and the Bronx, in Kishinev, Moldova, Brighton, England, and Hoboken, New Jersey. This artistic convergence connects over a century of Yiddish culture-makers in a "conversation" that spans continents, genres, generations, and the abyss of 20th century Jewish history.
Feisty and provocative cabaret artist Alexis Fishman stars as Erika Stern, the darling of the Weimar Cabaret scene in 1933 Berlin. But as the Nazi’s rise to power, tonight’s performance will be her last. The lights go down, and the audience holds their breath. Conceived and performed by Alexis Fishman. Written by James Millar and Alexis Fishman.
After receiving her BA from Harvard University and two graduate degrees in music from the Peabody Conservatory of Music at the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, where she served as a cantor for the High Holidays at Temple Oheb Shalom, soprano Allison Charney went on to great acclaim in opera houses across the United States where she was hailed for her "vocal agility, lush sound and dramatic portrayals." Her concert highlights have included performances at Alice Tully Hall, Avery Fisher Hall, the Philadelphia Orchestra and the Boston Pops under the baton of NY Philharmonic music director, Alan Gilbert. A champion of music of our times, Ms. Charney has premiered many new works and is featured on the first recording of the Pulitzer Prize nominated oratorio CHOOSE LIFE. Ms. Charney can also be heard in a recording of American songs on the DSC Label and is a founding member of the ARK trio, whose first recording is scheduled to be released in the fall of 2017. An active recitalist and master teacher, Ms. Charney is the founder and curator of the innovative NYC classical concert series, PREFORMANCES WITH ALLISON CHARNEY (now in its 8th season), where she has gained a reputation for breaking down the traditional barriers that exist between the audience and performers – who happen to be many of the most elite members of classical music. For more information visit PREformances.org
After dancing with Israeli's renowned Bat Sheva Dance Company, Miller started her own company in NYC in 2006. Miller's quirky, energetic and aggressive choreographic style immediately impressed audiences, and her company was invited to perform at Jacob's Pillow, the Joyce, and many other venues, including performances at the JCC in 2009 and 2010. We are thrilled to have provided her company a home base in 2011 to further its artistic development. This residency concluded with performances of Mama Call, a collection of dances that address Miller's Sephardic story and examine how the displaced can reclaim an idea of "home" and Miller's new work Seven Circles, an experiment about intimacy that explores the exposure of limitations and vulnerabilities as an act of trust and love.
Milwaukee, 1986. Amy has a plan for her 15th summer: Transform from total dorkwad to Material Girl. Build This City on rock and roll. And pine for Ross Buckman until he sees her True Colors shining through. Instead, her parents ship her off to "freakishly Jewish" Camp L'Chaim, where "even the mosquitoes wear yarmulkes!" How do you survive when you're the pork chop in an all-Kosher world
After making his professional operatic debut in the world premiere of Philip Glass's Appomattox with the San Francisco Opera Company, Anthony Russell is now a vocalist, composer and arranger specializing in Yiddish song. Anthony's work in traditional Ashkenazi musical forms led to a musical exploration of his own roots through the research, arrangement and performance of a hundred years of African American traditional music. The result of this is the album Convergence (2018), a collaboration with San Francisco Bay Area klezmer consort Veretski Pass exploring the sounds of one hundred years of African American and Ashkenazi Jewish music. In 2017, Anthony teamed up with accordionist and pianist Dmitri Gaskin to win the Concorso Internacional de Canciones en Idish (Der Idisher Idol) in Mexico City, eventually forming a duo, Tsvey Brider (“Two Brothers”), for the composition and performance of new songs in the Yiddish language. Over the past year, Tsvey Brider has been featured in Berlin’s Radical Jewish Culture Festival, toured Poland and performed for culture and music festivals all over the United States, most recently for the Yiddish New York Festival in Manhattan. Anthony's solo work in Jewish music has brought him to stages in Toronto, Montreal, New York, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, London and Tel Aviv, Symphony Space in New York City, the Kennedy Center in Washington DC and Limmud Fests across the United States and Europe.
Upon learning of the death of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in 1968, world renowned choreographer and dancer Arthur Mitchell was inspired to found Dance Theater of Harlem—a racially diverse ballet company, and a school that would offer children in Harlem the opportunity to learn about dance. Hear Arthur Mitchell narrate his life story accompanied by choreography and two extraordinary performers, Ashley Murphy and Da’Von Doane from the Dance Theater of Harlem.
Aviv Geffen is an Israeli rock musician, singer, songwriter, producer, keyboardist and guitarist. He is the son of writer and poet Yehonatan Geffen and Nurit Makover, brother of Shira Geffen, and a graduate of Rimon School of Jazz and Contemporary Music. Geffen was and is extremely popular among Israeli youth, who were later known as the "Moonlight Children", in the 1990s. Politically, he associates with the Israeli left. His music contains subjects such as love and peace, but also death, suicide, the army, and refusal to serve. He is also controversial because of his decision not to serve in the IDF, though officially, he was dismissed for medical reasons.
Avram Pengas' extraordinary talent and quicksilver fingers led him from playing lead guitar in the Israeli Air Force Band to performing in many of New York City’s celebrated venues. Pengas creates music that is rooted in the Mediterranean and the Middle East and draws upon both Eastern and Western musical elements.
Fellow. She has played with and composed for violinist Itzhak Perlman, the Kronos Quartet, playwrights Tony Kushner and Eve Ensler, the late poet Allen Ginsburg, Robert Plant and Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin, singer/songwriter Debbie Friedman, Avraham Fried, singer/songwriters Diane Birch, Gary Lucas and Najma Akhtar, and many others. She has appeared on David Letterman, MTV, PBS' Great Performances, NPR's Prairie Home Companion, Weekend Edition and New Sounds, and on the soundtrack for the L-Word.
With its members hailing from Berlin and Tel Aviv, Baladino is a Mediterranean folk band that offers fresh, yet deeply authentic interpretations of Sephardic and Ladino melodies and brings this tradition back into full, fresh dialogue with its trans-Mediterranean past.
Most known for her group, Pharaoh's Daughter, a 7 piece world music ensemble that travels effortlessly through continents, key signatures, and languages with a genre-bending sound. Basya Schechter’s earthy, soulful beautiful voice rings out over instruments that form a vibrant collage of East/West, Ashkenaz a vision of a new Middle East. She is also the musical director of Romemu a fast growing progressive spiritually adventurous community in the Upper West Side. In the summer she is a cantor for the Fire Island synagogue, a smaller flip flop wearing community, co-led with banjo playing Rabbi, writer and academic, Shaul Magid.
Performed in the round with the unique high energy and powerful artistry of the Ensemble of the famed Batsheva Dance Company, this witty and charming piece delights audiences of all ages with its humor and magical atmosphere that allows viewers to unlock the power of their imagination and experience the magic of dance.
Bill T. Jones is a multi-talented artist, choreographer, dancer, artistic director, and writer who has, over his 40-year career, received distinguished honors ranging from the 2013 National Medal of Arts to a 1994 MacArthur "Genius" Award and a Kennedy Center Honor in 2010. He also has earned two Tony awards for best choreography—for Spring Awakening in 2007 andFela! in 2010.
Known as the 'prince' of Israeli rock, Sakharof is one of Israel's most famed musicians, a virtuoso guitarist, singer and songwriter.
Russian cellist Borislav Strulev has been fascinating audiences on some of the world’s most prestigious stages since his U.S. debut at the Kennedy Center in 1993 arranged on initiative of Isaac Stern, Former World Bank President James Wolfensohn and Byron Janis. His charismatic personality, a virtuosic technique and extraordinarily large and beautiful tone have combined with the mature sensitivity of his interpretations to ensure his place amongst the most exciting young instrumentalists to emerge from Russia in recent years.
Based on a true story and adapted from I Didn't Execute the Mission by Arieh Segev, High Noon takes the audience back to the Yom Kippur war, during which Corporal Asher Solomon was taken prisoner by the Egyptians. After forty-five days in captivity he is repatriated and taken to an R & R facility for three weeks, to rest under medical supervision, but mainly for an intensive interrogation by military field security on the circumstances of his capture. The offensive and degrading encounter between Asher and the interrogator leads to a head-on confrontation, taking Asher back to the terrible days of his captivity.
"Rothman's music, using two languages and ancient texts to address social ills and joys of today, brings a universal appeal... The music bubbles with a conscious vibe that's capable of bringing people together," writes Richard Antone of Elmore Magazine, "She is adept at using religious imagery and bilingual lyrics as a bridge rather than a wedge." Tinges of reggae, worldbeat, folk, and hip-hop infuse Chana's Hebrew-English tunes with rhythm and positive vibes."
Suitably named "Coolooloosh," a Jerusalemite word for celebration and joy, that is precisely the kind of excitement this band inspires. 2008 marked the recording of a new album and a US tour for these culturally diverse musicians who are gaining major attention and wooing fans around the world with their intelligent blend of hip hop, rap, jazz, and funk genres, combining both English and Hebrew text into their distinctive style.
For fifty years, a troupe of antique marionettes were confined to a dusty closet at Jan Hus Church in the heart of New York City's Czechoslovak neighborhood. In 1990, they came back to life, when director Vít Horejs brought these century-old puppets back to the stage. Since then, the CAMT has played to great acclaim for audiences of all ages on tours to Europe, Asia, and 32 states.
Composer Margarita Zalenaia uses characters from Peter and the Wolf in a special musical presentation performed by the Damocles Trio. An interactive artists' workshop follows the performance.
Dan Fishback has been writing and performing in New York City since 2003. His play, You Will Experience Silence debuted to critical acclaim in April 2009 at Dixon Place, where Fishback was an Artist-in-Residence. Fishback has performed and developed previous work at Performance Space 122, Joe's Pub, Galapagos Art Space and various of other venues in New York and abroad. The Material World is a pop musical about socialist Jews in the 1920s.
A guitarist and composer, Dan Nadel’s search for his own sound has taken him on a journey across the globe, from Israel to NY, to Brazil, and finally Spain. With a style that combines jazz, flamenco, and other influences, he is a busy performer in New York's music scene both as a bandleader and as accompanist to some of its finest talent.
Having carved a reputation for himself as an innovative composer, performer, violinist, and band leader, Haitian-American artist Daniel Bernard Roumain (known as DBR) melds his classical music roots with his own cultural references and vibrant musical imagination. DBR has impressed audiences around the country, including his performance on the JCC's annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day event in 2010. DBR has worked with a wide range of artists and venues, ranging from Bill T. Jones to BAM to Seattle schoolkids. During his residency at the JCC in 2011-2012, DBR interacted with many different areas of the JCC community and created a musical version of the haggadah, The Order of an Empty Place, a resetting of Rabbis Joy Levitt and Michael Strassfeld's haggadah, scored for a 33-piece wind orchestra, solo violin, and rabbi.
Her powerful singing voice, distinctive performance style, and mostly her expressive lyrics have marked Dana Berger as one of the most promising artists in the Israeli rock scene. With 12 years of national acclaim and six albums to her name, Dana Berger has become one of the most well-known and influential female performers in Israel. For the last few years, Dana toured the world with guitarist Yaniv Dadon. Dana puts on a show that brings her music to the audience in a soft and charming way and is adored by audiences around the globe.
Detroit-born, Berlin-based singer/songwriter, polyglot poet, translator, and activist Daniel Kahn concocts furious, tender, electrifying, and revolutionary Alienation Klezmer. With the Painted Bird, he presents a variety of passionate songs inspired in part by the struggles of Jewish revolutionaries at the turn of the century, and in part by his own intense desire for a better world. The Painted Bird has brought “Yiddish Punk Cabaret” to rock clubs, festivals, and shtetls, from Berlin to Boston, Leningrad to Louisiana. The band has been referred to as “The Yiddish Pogues,” and Kahn was once described as “someone between Leonard Cohen, Bob Dylan, and Tom Waits – but Yiddish.”
Israeli superstar David Broza is considered one of the world’s most dynamic and vibrant performers. From his whirlwind finger-picking to flamenco percussion and rhythms to a signature rock and roll sound, his charismatic and energetic performances have delighted audiences throughout the world. Broza’s music reflects a fusion of the three countries in which he was raised: Israel, Spain, and England. A powerful musician, passionate peace advocate, and music industry innovator, David Broza awes and inspires audiences with his sincere message and musical allure.
DanzaNova is a virtuoso world-fusion quintet formed by composer/accordionist Ronn Yedidia in 2009. The other members of DanzaNova are violinist Lara St. John, guitarist Giacomo La Vita, bassist Eddy Khaimovich,, and percussionist Benny Koonyevsky. The ensemble explores and performs ethnic dance music originating mainly from the Middle East, Eastern and Central Europe, and Latin America. In addition, Yedidia has composed a series of his own dance tunes, "KlezDances," especially for DanzaNova. The quintet’s emphasis is on stylistic versatility and chamber unity, and the players display their many creative abilities in segments of original free improvisation— blending ethnic and contemporary elements, executed them with breathtaking virtuosity.
An internationally acclaimed clarinetist, Krakauer redefines the notion of a concert artist. Known for his mastery of myriad styles, including classical chamber music, Eastern European Jewish klezmer music, and avant-garde improvisation, Krakauer goes way beyond"cross-over." His best-selling classical and klezmer recordings further define his brilliant tone, virtuosity, and imagination.
Deganit Shemy's works, which create a critical gap between content and form through its distinguished movement vocabulary, have been commissioned and presented, at Danspace Project, PS 122, Dance Theatre Workshop, DUO Multicultural Arts Center, Baryshnikov Arts Center, the Inaugural Ringling International Arts Festival in Sarasota, Singapore Fringe Festival, and at various venues through Israel.
DeLeon plays 15th century Spanish indie rock infused with the deeply mysterious and entrancing cadences of the ancient Sephardic tradition. DeLeon's groundbreaking sound marries ancient Sephardic melodies sung in Ladino, Hebrew, and English with the chaotic symphony of urban living.
A rising star on the New York scene, Dida Pelled has music circles abuzz with her guitar wizardry and stage charisma. Her style seamlessly weaves influences from many genres, elegantly moving from jazz to blues to folk to popular music. She charms and captures worldwide audiences with her distinct personality, unique voice, and virtuosic guitar playing. Visit her website to learn more.
Iranian-descended singer Galeet Dardashti leads Divahn's edgy all-female powerhouse ensemble. Infusing traditional and original Middle Eastern Jewish songs with sophisticated harmonies, entrancing improvisations, and funky arrangements, Divahn's thrilling live shows feature lush string arrangements; eclectic Indian, Middle Eastern, and Latin percussion; and vocals spanning Hebrew, Judeo-Spanish, Persian, Arabic, and Aramaic. "Divan," a word common to Hebrew, Persian, and Arabic, means a collection of songs or poetry. Through their music, the group creatively underscores common ground between diverse Middle Eastern cultures and religions.
Israeli accordion virtuoso Uri Sharlin leads the DogCat Ensemble in a narrated musical journey through dreamlike images and landscapes in a presentation of new and original compositions that blend jazz and classical influences with Balkan rhythms, Klezmer modes, and Brazilian harmonies. Together with an all-star ensemble, Sharlin, who has performedon the world's most prestigious stages with Joshua Bell, the San Francisco Symphony, Natalie Merchant, Flight of the Conchords, Rossy da Palma, and others, brings forth an innovative vision that features classical instruments, rock guitars, and unique homemade percussion.
The ensemble's repertoire includes Arabic, Jewish, and Persian music, celebrating the common musical heritage of the region's cultures. The San Francisco–based band has attracted a growing global audience who are responding to their authentic musicianship and timely message of peace and cross-cultural appreciation. Their most recent CD, Eastern Wind, received rave reviews worldwide, reaching number seven on Billboard's World Music charts.
Singer, songwriter, composer, actress—the multitalented Efrat Gosh does it all. Possessing one of the most unique voices in contemporary music, she continues to explore the boundaries of folk/cabaret/rock, changing the face of Israeli music.
Since the release of his first album in 1987, Ehud Banai has released 10 additional albums to great acclaim. Banai's concerts attract a huge following from a diverse crowd of both the young, old, religious, and secular. Every concert is a one-time celebration.
Since its establishment, the Emanuel Gat Dance Company has gained international recognition for its high artistic standards and original voice within the contemporary dance scene. The company is invited regularly to perform at high-profile venues and festivals such as the Lincoln Center festival in New York, Le Festival d'Automne in Paris, and Sadler's Wells in London.
The Epichorus, created and curated by Zach Fredman, is an eclectic ensemble stirring the sounds of Indian, Judeo-Arabic retro-folk music. The Epichorus transports audiences to the deserts, the harems, and the marketplaces of the Middle East through its unique blend of world music. The Epichorus is joinedby one of the most influential artists from India, Priya Darshini, whose music provides a fresh, imaginative new sound with roots in Indian classical traditions..
Eran Zur is one of the most respected Israeli singer-songwriters. He writes lyrics in Hebrew that touch the invisible border of poetry and pop/rock style. With his special low vocals, he tends to deal with key issues in Israeli society in Hebrew like Israeli identity, Jewish identity, and sexual identity. A creative musician, Korin Alal is a winner of the Akum prize for lifetime achievement in composing.
Known as one of the most important forces in the Israeli rock’ n’ roll scene, Eran Zur brings his signature mix of rock, jazz, and experimental music to his collaboration with Yoni Bloch, a young, talented, and contemporary Israeli composer.
The Esprit Trio is comprised of soprano Chen Reiss, clarinetist Shirley Brill, and pianist Jonathan Aner. The Esprit Trio has performed in such prestigious halls as the Berliner Philharmonie, Schloss Nymphenburg, and Ludwigsburger Schloss. The three havealso performed as soloists with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of Maestro Zubin Mehta. They have all been, for much of their studies and careers, recipients of the America-Israel Cultural Foundation and of the Ronen Foundation.
Israeli writer Etgar Keret reads some of his best work, specially arranged with a quartet of talented New York-based musicians. Keret shares stories about his creative process as he narrates a night of song and story.
J. Edgar Klezmer: Songs from My Grandmother's FBI Files is a musical documentary theater adventure by grandchild and bandleader Eve Sicular. From klezmer to Kodaly to jazz, baroque to boogie woogie to gospel, from Hazel Scott's canceled TV show to derelict theories of homosexuality, exploring surveillance files leads in even more directions than the Department of Justice could have foreseen.
Gabriela Kohen covers an astonishing amount of ground in Decoding the Tablecloth, her funny and moving one-woman family memoir. Kohen portrays nearly two dozen characters and spans half the globe, verbally shifting from Poland to Argentina to New Jersey and Brooklyn. She also time travels: One minute it's the Disco '70s, the next, someone is fleeing the Nazis. It's a very busy hour.
Golem is a six-piece Eastern European folk-punk band known for electrifying dance floors with their globetrotting goulash of Jewish, Slavic, and Gypsy folk songs. This "Gypsy-punk gem" (SPIN) is fronted by Annette Ezekiel-Kogan—singer, accordionist, and five-foot powerhouse, with vocalist/tambourinist Aaron Diskin, violin virtuoso Alicia Jo Rabins, trombonist Curtis Hasselbring, upright bassist Taylor Bergren-Chrisman, and drummer Tim Monaghan, Golem's sound evokes wisps of old-world elegance filtered through the successes and disappointments of new-world dreams.
The Grand Falloons are an ensemble of theater, circus, and design professionals who came together to create educational and thematic theatrics for museums, schools, and theaters across the United States.
Founded in 1995 as a collective of artists who keep theater at the heart of social life, Great Small Works draws on folk, avant-garde, and popular theater traditions to address contemporary issues. The company performs in theaters, clubs, schools, galleries, streets, and community centers. Based in New York City, they produce performance works on a wide variety of scales, from outdoor pageants with giant puppets and hundreds of performers from diverse communities to miniature "toy theater" spectacles. The productions consistently reinvent ancient, popular theater techniques: toy theater, mask and object theater, circus, sideshow, and picture-show (cantastoria) to name a few. On any scale, the productions seek to renew, cultivate, and strengthen the spirits of their audiences, promoting theater as a model for reanimating the public sphere and participating in democratic life.
As both a pianist and guitarist, Hazzan Piatigorsky uses instruments to enrich services, and bring joy in song and prayer to the entire community as the cantor of West End Synagogue, where she devotes herself to the education and vibrancy of the congregation. She is passionate about empowering the congregation to read Torah, and draws all ages to this great mitzvah. As a recently trained Storahtelling "Maven", Hazzan Piatigorsky regularly brings Torah to life through midrash-infused living translation and bibliodrama. She is a mentor for the Leadership Institute, working with Jewish education directors, and mentors future cantors through the Jewish Theological Seminary. Hazzan Piatigorsky is a member of the Cantor's Assembly and The American Conference of Cantors.
Dedicated to creating provocative, highly technical, and physically adventurous works, Heidi Latsky, former member of the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company, created IF, a dynamic new piece, which mixes members of her company with disabled artists while in residence at the JCC in the fall of 2010. Through open rehearsals, movement instillations in the lobby, and the premiere of IF, the JCC community had the chance to see how Latsky's work "beautifully resets the preconceptions about bodies and movement" (The New York Times).
HLD continues to collaborate with various social service and humanitarian organizations and performs for and speaks at disability organizations’ galas and festivals and educational institutions like Barnard, Harvard, and the Chicago Humanities Festival. Current partners include Hurleyville Arts Centre, the United Nations, the Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities, New York Academy of Medicine, and ReelAbilities Film Festival. In March 2017, HLD performed ON DISPLAY, a structured improvisation movement piece designed to be performed by diverse people. Presented in the open and free space of the Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan lobby, the installation allows performers and the public alike to fully witness each other. Here the viewer is as much on display as the viewed. This is a platform to experience and broadcast difference; to elevate and celebrate it within a clear context.
The two friends and Israeli rock stars perform on one stage for a show that is pure rock 'n' roll. Hemi and Yirmi perform all of their greatest hits with new twists, each artist singing both his and the other’s songs, accompanied by three musicians. It is a show that is pure energy, hits, and uncompromising performance.
One of the most riveting and innovative theater pieces to come out of Israel, Black Rain explores the issues of the atomic bomb, Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and the implications for modern-day Israel and the rest of the world.
The Idan Raichel Project burst onto Israel's music scene in 2002, changing the face of Israeli popular music and offering a message of love and tolerance. With an enchanting blend of African, Latin American, Caribbean, and Middle Eastern sounds, the Idan Raichel Project has become one of the most unexpected success stories in Israeli music history.
Inna Barmash is a New York–based folk singer of Yiddish, Russian and other Eastern European languages, and rootsy new American music. Born in Vilnius, Lithuania, Inna is the vocalist of the gypsy party band Romashka, the chamber folk ensemble Ljova & the Kontraband,and a new project, Yiddish Lullabies & Love Songs.
One of the biggest-selling contemporary artists in Israeli music, Ivri Lider has won the Male Singer of the Year honor from major Israeli national and local radio stations since entering the Israeli music scene in the late 1990s. He has sold over 200,000 records.
Israeli Stage’s mission is to share the diversity and vitality of Israeli culture through theater. Since its inaugural season in 2010-2011, Israeli Stage has produced over 15 plays (as staged readings) by 10 playwrights, exposing Northeast audiences to regional, American,and world premieres of Israeli plays.
Based in Toronto, Jaffa Road is an award-winning, world music group made up of some of Canada's most exciting and innovative interpreters of intercultural music. The group has created a unique sonic landscape that draws easily and organically from the worlds of sacred and secular Jewish songs, classical Arabic and Indian music, modern jazz, rock, pop, and dub. In doing so, the group creates a union between acoustic and electronic, secular and sacred, ancient and modern.
Jenny Lyn Bader is a playwright and author. She is currently a writer in residence and director of artistic development at the newly formed Theatre 167, a multicultural ensemble; a member of the Lark Core Artist group the Monthly Meeting of the Minds; and the playwright in residence of the Mirror Rep, New York's most established alternating repertory company, founded in 1983.
The Jewish Plays Project puts bold, progressive Jewish conversations on world stages. The JPP’s innovative and competitive development vehicle invests emerging artists in their Jewish identity; engages Jewish communities in the vetting, selecting, and championing of new voices; and secures mainstream production opportunities for the best new plays. In its six years, the JPP has vetted 1,132 plays from 884 writers in 32 states and nine countries, and actively developed 34 plays, 18 of which have gone on to production in New York (BAM, the Flea, 4th Street Theater, Dixon Place), Tel Aviv, London, Detroit, and around the U.S. The JPP's signature method is Jewish dramaturgy—matching the best minds in the Jewish community with the best 21st century Jewish plays.
Time Lapse Dance (TLD), founded by Jody Sperling in 2000, presents visually arresting kinetic theater fusing dance with mesmerizing fabric-and-light spectacles after the style of modern-dance pioneer Loïe Fuller (1862–1928). Sperling has earned international acclaim for choreography that creatively re-imagines Fuller’s genre in a 21st-century context. For her company, comprising six women dancers, she has created timeless and captivating works integrating movement, costuming, lighting, and shadow play with a sensuous musicality.
Acclaimed for the heartfelt intensity and technical mastery of his playing, pianist Joseph Kalichstein enthralls audiences throughout the United States and Europe, winning equal praise as orchestral soloist, recitalist, and chamber musician. He is also the first chamber music advisor to the Kennedy Center. A favorite of New York concertgoers, Kalichstein has appeared in several recitals as part of Carnegie Hall's "Keyboard Virtuosi" series. He has also appeared there as soloist with the Cleveland Orchestra, the Leipzig Chamber Orchestra, and the Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio. He frequently collaborates with the world's great string quartets, among them the Emerson, Guarneri and Juilliard.
Cited as "a giant of the piano," Ran Dank was born in Israel in 1982. Mr. Dank has won virtually every major prize available for a young musician in his country, including the America-Israel Cultural Foundation scholarships since 1992, and the Voice of Music Competition.
Joshua Nelson born and raised Jewish, studiedf Judaism, including two years on a college and kibbutz program in Israel, clarified his understanding that throughout history, Jews had always integrated Jewish law and religious practices with the cultural context in which they lived. Upon his return from Israel, Nelson began to apply this understanding to music, beginning what has been called “a revolution in Jewish music” by combining Jewish liturgical lyrics with one of America’s best-known indigenous musical forms; thus kosher gospel music was born. For Nelson, kosher gospel is a way to claim both parts of his identity as a Black Jew. When Joshua was eight, he discovered an album by Mahalia Jackson, the Queen of Gospel, in his grandparents’ record collection, and fell in love with her singing. During his teens and early 20s, he became widely celebrated as a gospel singer, continuing the Jackson’s legacy. For his audiences, whatever their faith or heritage, kosher gospel has been a revelation. Now in his early 30s, Nelson has performed around the world, for presidents, congregations, major music festivals—and for Oprah, who named him a “Next Big Thing.” He has produced a stellar album, Mi Chamocha, sung with stars from Aretha Franklin to the Klezmatics, and served as the subject of the acclaimed documentary film Keep on Walking. Nelson also passes on this musical gift as an artist in residence at Jewish congregations across the country, including at his home synagogue of Temple Sharey Tefilo-Israel, a Reform congregation in South Orange, New Jersey, where he taught Hebrew school for 15 years. Whatever the venue, Joshua Nelson, the Prince of Kosher Gospel, brings people—and cultures—together in joyous song.
Judith Sloan is an actor, audio artist, writer, radio producer, human rights activist, educator, and poet whose work combines humor, pathos, and a love of the absurd. For over 20 years, Sloan has been producing and presenting interdisciplinary works in audio and theater, portraying voices often ignored by the mass media.
Ka’et Dance Ensemble develops contemporary dance that stems from the vibrant world of an ancient religion, advancing this vision on the professional stage, in Israel, and around the world. Without concessions to themselves or to their audiences, they focus a direct gaze on the conflict between body and soul, between tradition and modernity, and from this tectonic rift, they unveil a new language full of pain, honesty, and hope. The ensemble is a group of graduates of the "Kol Atzmotay Tamerana" school in Jerusalem, who premiered their first show, Road No. 1, in November 2010. Since then, members of the Ensemble have been producing new work every year. The Ensemble performs throughout Israel, and has also performed in Madrid, London, and Singapore. Ka’et Ensemble continues to receive recognition and support from a variety of bodies, including the Ministry of Culture and the Jerusalem Municipality.
Rachel Calof—A Memoir with Music dramatizes the story of Rachel Calof, a Jewish picture bride. We follow Rachel’s touching story, a Russian emigrant who moves to Devil’s Lake, North Dakota, in 1894, crossing the ocean to marry a man she has never met, determined to make a new life as a homesteader. Kate Fuglei, who stars as Rachel Calof, was a company member of the first National Broadway tour of Spring Awakening, was Mrs. Webb in Michael Greif's production of Our Town at the La Jolla Playhouse, and appeared in Scott Schwartz' adaptation of My Antonia at the Rubicon Theater, with music by Stephen Schwartz. She has played leading roles at theaters across the country—including the Guthrie Theater, Arena Stage, NY Shakespeare Festival, LA Shakespeare Festival, Utah Shakespeare Festival, and many more. She has acted in eight feature films, four films for television, and has over 30 television credits—ranging from NCIS to Masters of Sex. Kate is one of the creators of Rachel Calof: A Memoir with Music.
A controversial and completely fresh take on Shalom Aleichem, this shockingly beautiful and sophisticated theatrical work weaves together five stories, creating a fascinating and modern interpretation of a lost world. Set in the imaginary town of Kasrilevke, The Town of the Little People brings to life a slew of townspeople who are all engaging in the complexities of small-town shtetl life.
Globally renowned world music superstars, The Klezmatics are the only klezmer band to win a Grammy Award. The band emerged out of the vibrant cultural scene of New York City's East Village in 1986, with klezmer steeped in Eastern European Jewish tradition and spirituality, while incorporating contemporary themes such as human rights and anti-fundamentalism and eclectic musical influences including Arab, African, Latin, and Balkan rhythms, jazz and punk. In the course of over 20 years and nine albums, they have stubbornly continued making music that is wild, mystical, provocative, reflective, and ecstatically danceable.
This passionate North African band is led by the talented Rachid Halihal, an expert oud player, who along with the Middle Eastern percussionist David Buchbut, Moroccan percussionist Brahim Fribgane, flute player Daphna Mor, and accordion player Uri Sharlin, brings to life a diverse repertoire of music, including songs from Andalusia, Morocco, Tunisia, Yemen, and the Middle East.
Andersen is an original cast member of Russell Simmons' Def Poetry Jam on Broadway. Lemon's film acting credits include The Soloist, starring Robert Downey, Jr. and Jamie Foxx, as well as Spike Lee's Miracle at St. Anna, Sucker Free City, and She Hate Me,. He also appeared opposite Denzel Washington in Inside Man. His theater credits include Slanguage, which was directed by Jo Bonney and premiered at the New York Theater Workshop to rave reviews and sold-out shows. His poetry has been featured on everything from radio spots to print ads to the limited edition Absolut Brooklyn bottle.
LeeSaar: The Company artists Saar Harari and Lee Sher arrived in NYC from Tel Aviv with little more than a dream of forming a company that would make a splash i the NYC dance world. Five years later, their company had garnered outstanding reviews in The New York Times, received a Guggenheim Fellowship, and performed all over the world. The physicality and explosive tempos synonymous with LeeSaar's award-winning choreography matured and ripened in Prima, created while in residence at the JCC in the fall of 2009.
The borders-crossing duo of Nadav Lev and Remy Yulzari offers a unique blend of Classical-Spanish, Sephardic, and ethnic fusion, in a personal approach that derives from various musical genres. Both extremely versatile, Lev and Yulzari present a program that is a journey through their many musical influences, including folk, jazz, and even klezmer music. They weave all these together to create a fascinating, surprising, and compelling musical experience.
A Jewish cantor meets a Gypsy flamenco guitarist. Sparks fly. They add a Cuban percussionist, a blues guitarist, a rock ‘n roll bassist, and Lyla Canté is born. Exploring the intersection of Sefardi, Flamenco, and Ashkenazi music, New York City–based Lyla Canté makes music that is sensuous, passionate, and infectious.
Described by The New Yorker as a "cello goddess" and by the Washington Post as "the diva of the cello," Maya Beiser has captivated audiences worldwide with her virtuosity, eclectic repertoire, and relentless quest to redefine her instrument's boundaries. Over the past decade, she has created new repertoire for the cello, commissioning and performing many works written for her by today's leading composers.
Created in Israel by Nuphar and Berman, Mayumana is a highly disciplined and awesomely intricate pulsating mixture of music, beat, movement, humor, and joy.
Clarinetist Michael Winograd is one of the most respected and versatile working musicians in klezmer music today. Based in Brooklyn, Michael spends much of his time in transit, performing and teaching throughout the world. He is one third of the transatlantic klezmer/cabaret collective Yiddish Art Trio, clarinetist of Tarras Band, a classic 1950s Jewish American tribute group, and the co-founder and director of the groundbreaking, borderless world fusion band Sandaraa. Michael also collaborates with Cantor Yaakov “Yanky” Lemmer and Klezmatics trumpeter Frank London in Ahava Raba, a group that explores the spiritual sides of Ashkenazi Jewish music. He has played alongside Itzhak Perlman, The Klezmer Conservatory Band, Socalled, Budowitz, Alicia Svigals, and more.
Milk and Honeys is a fresh blend of Israeli music with Afro-beat, Ethiopian melodies, and R&B soul. Featuring the popular Afro-beat singer Arlene Gould and guitarist Nadav Peled, the front man for LIONS, a popular Ethiopian funk group.
World and pop music phenomenon Mosh Ben-Ari blends ecstatic Middle astern rhythms, biblical texts, scents of reggae, and Afro-beats combined with original sounds. Mosh Ben-Ari's joyous concerts around the world turn into high-spirited celebrations for peace. His album Go Giving received wide acclaim from critics and music fans alike.
Moshe Bonen is a multifaceted musician and a former Israeli radio broadcaster (Galatz, Galgalatz). His voice is warm and inviting, and his music is reminiscent of nostalgic Israeli sound. He has worked and performed with some of the top names in Israeli music, such as Shalom Hanoch, Danny Robas, Nurit Galron, Yermi Kaplan, Hemi Rudner, Miki Gavrielov, Eli Magen, and more.
Internationally acclaimed American/Israeli rock group Moshav began when childhood friends Yehuda (vocals, percussion) and Duvid (vocals, guitar) made music together on Moshav Mevo Modiin in Israel. The group was initially discovered by a group of American students traveling in Israel, who heard the band play and raised money to bring them to the states for a college tour in the late 1990s. Soon after, Moshav relocated to Los Angeles, where they continued to grow their fan base and began recording with some of the industry’s best.
MusicTalks brings classical music to an intimate and informal setting. Performed by the finest young artists, MusicTalks breaks down the barriers between musicians and audience by taking advantage of the intimacy that chamber music provides. With engaging and interactive conversation, the listener is given an experience that truly makes Music Talk.
Light Is Heard in Zig Zag is this theater company's first play and the first of its kind in the world. The show was created in a long and enduring process, as a full collaboration between Adina Tal and the deaf-blind actors. During drama workshops, each one of the actors expressed his/her heart-wish. The group worked on rhythm and improvisations, using hand shake, body movement, and touch-sign language with the help of special interpreters. Gradually, the actors' dreams and aspirations were woven into a play to be performed on stage.
Nayekhovichi started in Moscow in 2004 as a modest but ambitious folk quartet with tuba and electric guitar They have since grown into a flexible, loud, and extravagant klezmer rock ‘n roll nine-piece orchestra. Half of the repertoire is a bunch of the liveliest klezmer tunes treated with the honesty of a drunk goldsmith while the other half is vocal songs—some of them folk Yiddish, some of them original compositions in Yiddish, some Soviet pop, some klezmerized rock.
The New York Andalus Ensemble is a multiethnic, multifaith group that performs in Arabic, Hebrew, Spanish, and Ladino. Drawing upon repertoire from the ninth century to the 1960s, from Andalus and the Maghreb, the ensemble includes a large choir and incorporates a wide array of traditional and modern acoustic instruments.
One of the foremost dance companies in the world, NYCB is unique in U.S. artistic history. Solely responsible for training its own artists and creating its own works, the New York City Ballet offers a rich company history, repertoire of ballets, and world-class dancers.
Nicholas Andre Dance's mission is to bring athletic concepts of modern dance movement to a wide variety of audiences. The company creates and presents new works that are conceptual, emotional and passionate, generating an intelligent understanding and appreciation for dance.
In keeping with the Opera on Tap credo of showcasing the entertainment aspect of opera, OOT Jr. was created to first be fun, and second be educational. The format speaks to the contemporary child, employing modern everyday speech, and even makes references to technology. The format was designed for ages 4-7 and is designed to keep the kids interested in the show by directly involving them and having the performers directly interact with them. Every show takes place in Operaland, to which thee audience members are travelers and given a passport as they enter the performance space. An airline attendant guides the passengers through their travels. Volunteers from the audience are invited to come on stage and use the remote control to freeze and unfreeze characters. The device has been extremely useful in teaching the kids about different musical concepts employed in opera. With every show, one opera is presented and one musical concept is paired with it.
Perl is an indie rock band created by Bulletproof Stockings lead singer and songwriter Perl Wolfe, featuring cellist Elisheva Maister and violinist Dana Pestun. Formed in the spring of 2016, Perl has a sound that has been compared to Fiona Apple, Florence and the Machine, and The White Stripes, and is inspired by Torah and Chassidus. Perl performs for audiences of women only, looking to create a space where all women can rock out in unison.
Blending a psychedelic sensibility and a Pan-Mediterranean sensuality, Basya Schechter leads her band, Pharaoh's Daughter, through swirling Chassidic chants, Mizrachi and Sephardi folk-rock, and spiritual stylings filtered through percussion, flute, strings, and electronica. Their sound has been cultivated by Basya's Chassidic music background and a series of trips to the Middle East, Africa, Israel, Egypt, Central Africa, Turkey, Kurdistan, and Greece.
Queer Wedding Sweet is a fabulous Jewish wedding musical and queer vaudeville extravaganza with Adrienne Cooper, Sara Felder, Marilyn Lerner, Frank London, and Lorin Sklamberg. Combining stories from actual queer weddings, klezmer and Yiddish songs, juggling, poetry and more, this moving and hysterical new work brings to the stage original insight on love and commitment in the 21st century.
The Punishing Blowreceived its world premiere as part of the 6th annual Woodstock Fringe Festival. "Arrested, tried, and convicted," press notes state, "a college professor can stay out of jail if he enters rehab for his drinking, undergoes treatment for anger management, and gives a public lecture [this play] about one person of his choosing from a list of The 100 Most Influential Jews of All Time." Playwright Randy Cohen is the winner of four Emmy awards for his work as a writer for "Late Night with David Letterman," "TV Nation" and "The Rosie O'Donnell Show" and wrote "The Ethicist," a weekly column in the Sunday New York Times Magazine.
The JCC is thrilled to have provided a home to Rachel Dickstein to adapt Gertrude Stein's little-known children's book, The World is Round, and to have offered our entire community the opportunity to spend a year with Ripe Time.
Rachel is a writer, director, teacher, and founding artistic director of Ripe Time, a company devoted to new ensemble-based performance works infused with rich language, visual power, and physical rigor.
For Ripe Time, Rachel has devised, choreographed, and directed the world premieres of Fire Throws (based on Sophocles' Antigone), Betrothed (based on texts by Jhumpa Lahiri, Chekhov, and Ansky), and Innocents (based on Wharton's The House of Mirth and adapted with Emily Morse). Her breathtaking production of Septimus and Clarissa (an adaptation of Virginia Woolf's Mrs. Dalloway) was chosen as one of the "best of 2011" by New York magazine. Rachel has also created and directed other new works for New York Theatre Workshop, New Georges, New York Shakespeare Festival/Joe's Pub, and Seattle's Annex Theatre.
"There are as many ways to move as there are people. I include both the incredible virtuosity of highly trained dancers and the unique and deeply human contributions of nontrained movers in my work. By combining them, I aim to create a rich, complex picture of the human experience that is resonant with all kinds of audiences. Our creative process begins with questions like, What feels like "home" to you? What is the meaning of maleness and masculinity in our society, and what could it mean? We bring our questions to people of different ages, backgrounds, and abilities in community settings, and they answer us in words and movements that open up universes of possibility. In the studio, the company turns those answers into dances—stretching them, turning them into daring partnering, whirling them through space, and arranging them in patterns across many bodies" — Risa Jaroslow.
Michaeli is an Israeli actress, comedian, television hostess, and entertainer who was singing on Israeli radio by the age ofy 14. Michaeli performed her military duties at the Army Radio. In the 1960s, her first show on stage was with Yossi Banai . In 1974, she was part of the cast of the satirical program Nikui Rosh (Head Cleaning). Subsequently, she was the host of Siba L'mesiba (Reason for a Party), the most popular television program broadcast on Friday evenings, as well as its successor, Sof Shavua (Weekend). She also performed at the Habimah and Cameri theaters, acted in a television series, and appeared in 16 films, broadcast on radio, recorded albums, moderated song festivals, and twice hosted Eurovision . She was awarded a prize for her life's work by the Israeli Film and Television Academy, and also a prize for her contribution to radio. In 1991, The Los Angeles Times called her "one of Israel's most popular television hosts" and in 1995 The Jerusalem Post called her "one of the country's most popular entertainers."
Born in East Havana Cuba, and raised in Miami, percussionist and composer Roberto Rodriguez brings groundbreaking new music through his cross-cultural roots. Drawing upon his influences across the board of traditional Cuban music roots to contemporary genres of world music and Sephardic music, pop, jazz and improvisation, electronic, classical, he is one of the most versed performers and intriguing composers today.
A driving force in New York City's burgeoning gypsy and Balkan music scene, Romashka plays gypsy and folk music from Russia, Romania, the Balkans, and beyond. Lithuanian-born singer Inna Barmash fronts a band of nine wildly versatile NY musicians, denizens of fertile downtown grounds. At full blast, Romashka has a violin, viola, accordion, guitar, trumpet, clarinet/saxophone, tuba, and percussion.
Deftly weaving together intense physical movement, spoken word, vocal music, and the "theater laboratory" ensemble techniques originated by Jerzy Grotowski, Rosanna Gamson stages a profusely evocative dance drama around the story of the tarpan—an extinct species of Eurasian wild horse that was genetically "reassembled" in the 1930s through back-breeding of domestic horses. The Los Angeles choreographer braids this allegory of regeneration with reflections on the history of her own Polish-Jewish ancestors, horse traders from Szczecin, and the fate of Polish Jewry. Tov takes its title from "Gamzu l'tovah" ("This too is for the good"), a favorite saying of one of Gamson's forebears, Talmudic scholar Nachum ish Gamzu, who found God's hand even in tragedy. The full-evening work features a cast of 14 American and three Polish performers, with text spoken and sung in Hebrew, Polish, English, Yiddish, Bulgarian, and German.
One of Israel's most provocative directors places a beautifully constructed spotlight on the events of Kristallnacht from the viewpoint of a child, now grown, who, looking back, asks "What could I have done in the midst of this nearby chaos?'"
Discovering Elijah attempts to dismantle, and then re-examine, the particles constituting war: words, images, violent impulses, fear and its concealment, running, souls departing from the battlefield, and he search of consolation.
Salomee Speelt is a "fixed-fluid" collective set up by Noémi Schlosser, a young theater creator. The idea for this company arose from the need to bring various branches of art, equipment, and people from a variety of artistic milieus together. Furthermore, there was a desire for the freedom to make independent in-house productions, as well as the ability to work on a freelance basis.
Moscow–NY: A Video Opera is an ethereal and thought-provoking new production that brings to life the story of a brother and sister who flee Warsaw in the 30s—she to Moscow to follow her dreams of a utopian socialist paradise, and he to NYC to embrace the life of a famous writer. Based loosely on the life and writings of Issac Bashevis Singer, this stunning contemporary production includes video shot in Moscow and NY and a live soundtrack by Russian and American composers from Shostakovich to Gershwin.
The Diary of Anne Frank was released by Profil Medien in 2004. Sandra created this role and performed it many times in Austria and Germany with the Emsland Ensemble under the baton of Hans Erik Deckert. To commemorate Anne Frank's 80th birthday, performances took place in Germany in June 2009, again earning the singer and her ensemble great accolades in the national press. The "musical diary" was also performed at schools throughout Germany as part of history class. This project in particular is still being taken on with great passion.
Determined to help bring Ladino (Judeo-Spanish) culture to a new generation, Sarah Aroeste, an international Ladino singer/songwriter, author, and cultural activist, draws upon her Sephardic family roots from Greece and Macedonia (via medieval Spain) to present traditional and original Ladino songs with her unique blend of rock, pop, and jazz. Since 2001, Aroeste has toured the globe and recorded five albums, A la Una: In the Beginning (2003), Puertas (2007), Gracia (2012), Ora de Despertar (2016), the first-ever all-original Ladino children’s album, and Together/Endjuntos (2017), the first bilingual Ladino/English holiday album. In 2017 Aroeste released Ora de Despertar (Time to Wake Up!) a bilingual illustrated children’s book. In 2014 Aroeste won the Sephardic prize at the International Jewish Music Festival in Amsterdam, and in 2015 she represented the U.S. in the International Sephardic Music Festival in Cordoba, Spain. NPR has featured Aroeste as one of the most boundary-pushing Latin artists today, and she has garnered wide critical acclaim for her efforts to introduce Ladino to wider audiences. Bringing a fresh, modern vision to Sephardic culture, Sarah Aroeste has helped to transform and revitalize a tradition. For more: saraharoeste.com.
Shalom Hanoch is one of the biggest and most significant artists in Israeli rock, and one of the most fascinating and prolific forces in all of Israeli music. He is a sensitive lyricist, ingenious composer, and versatile musician who moves effortlessly between delicate sounds and energetic rock ‘n roll.
Shaban is a rock pianist who thrives on stage and loves making a moving connection with the audience. An original artist with a mesmerizing stage presence, Shlomi’s performances receive exceptional praise from audiences and critics alike.
Sounds from the Yemen desert fuse together with upbeat, modern sounds of the West in Shlomit + RebbeSoul's show The Seal of Solomon, featuring the enchanting singing of Levi and produced by world music pioneer RebbeSoul. Together they create a unique, spiritual blend of world music with a distinct Yemenite spice. Infectious grooves and ancient melodies combine to create a fresh, new sound.
Born in the oldest standing synagogue in New York, The Shul Bandplays Jewish music with exuberant virtuosity. Rooted in Jewish folk music but drawing on the musical wellsprings of New York City and the whole wide world, the quintet, Adam Feder, Ernesto Villalobos, Seth Ginsberg, Matt Snyder, and Dave Hertzberg, and their musical friends aspire to transcend their sources and create compelling, moving music with every performance. From Klezmer to Kashmir, liturgical melodies to Israeli dances, The Shul Band is equally prayerful and raucous, meditative and joyful.
Shulem is the most recent rising star of the Jewish musical tradition that has been intertwined in the life, faith, and culture of the Jewish people throughout their history. Whether through prayers, psalms, or contemporary classics, this youthful Brooklyn tenor finds in music something rich and affirming, an endeavor that makes the soul soar and the spirit rise and speaks to the human condition. In fact, Shulem feels music aspires to go beyond current historical context to illuminate what he sees as the perfect dream: when the world is at peace. There are some voices that have to be heard—and Shulem's is one of them. Marking the first time that a singer from the Orthodox Chassidic community has been signed to a major label, Shulem's debut album, The Perfect Dream, will be released on Decca Gold, an imprint of Universal Music Group’s Verve Label Group.
Shura Lipovsky is one of the most respected writers, composers, performers, and pioneers within the realm of Yiddish song. Through her music, she strives for the validation of the Yiddish language as a poetic instrument for intercultural and intracultural dialogue and peace. Her recent ensemble Novaya Shira (New Song) premiered successfully in the Amsterdam Concertgebouw in 2011. She is the director of the Summer Song School Golden Peacock for JMI in London, leads a monthly choir in MCY in Paris, and was a member of the quartet Serendipity 4, with Theodore Bikel and Merima Kljuco. Her passion for Yiddish theater inspired her to put her career on hold in 2005 to study at l'Ecole Internationale de Théâtre de Jacques Lecoq in Paris. She has been featured in numerous international documentaries on Yiddish culture.
Throbbing funk grooves, fiery Balkan brass, Gypsy accordion wizardry, and virtuoso jazz chops make Slavic Soul Party! NYC’s official #1 brass band for Balkan Soul Gypsy Funk. SSP! has created an acoustic mash-up of Balkan and Gypsy sounds with North American music, weaving the gospel, techno, funk, dub, jazz, and Latin influences of New York’s neighborhoods seamlessly into a Balkan brass setting. SSP!’s music has won the ear of fans and musicians on both sides of the Atlantic, and their tunes have been learned by Serbian brass stars Boban Markovic Orkestar and New Orleans funk sensations Galactic, among others. In addition to touring throughout the U.S. and Europe, SSP! holds down a residency every Tuesday in Brooklyn, which has become a destination for music fans from around the world. One of the hardest working bands in New York, SSP! plays nearly 100 times a year in North America, Europe, Africa, and beyond. They have performed at Babylon (Istanbul) with the Karandila Orkestar, at Irving Plaza (New York City) with Gogol Bordello, on the Warped Tour (U.S.), in Carnegie Hall, in Sing Sing prison, and in virtually every major New York club.
Soulfarm creates a potent sound that screams originality as it weaves a wide range of influences, like a fine musical tapestry, from authentic jam, blues, and rock ‘n roll, with threads of Middle Eastern melodies. Eclectic and soulful, with pulsating percussion, dancing rhythms and gripping guitar leads, their music forces the listener to not only hear, but to become the music.
Storahtelling is a pioneer in Jewish education via the arts and new media. Through innovative leadership training programs and theatrical performances, Storahtelling makes ancient stories and traditions accessible for new generations, advancing Judaic literacy and raising social consciousness. Founded by Amichai Lau-Lavie in 1999, Storahtelling has grown into an international network of educators and artists, invigorating Jewish identity through dynamic educational programs and performances for multigenerational audiences worldwide.
Svetlana is a critically acclaimed "outstanding" (Wall Street Journal) vocalist from New York and a leader of the New York based swing band, The Delancey Five ("NYC Darlings" Time Out). Svetlana's shows transport the audiences to the carnival of sound, seamlessly moving from sophisticated and sultry retrospection to a rowdy joyous dance party. Svetlana and her band have headlined sold-out shows in the premier venues and festivals across the US and internationally (Tel Aviv Blues Festival, Italian Villas and Jazz Festival, Blue Note Jazz Festival - as well as the Blue Note, BB Kings Blues Club, Iridium Jazz Club, Joe's Pub, Boston's Regatta Bar, and many performance arts theaters and festivals around the U.S.). They haveaining critical acclaim from audiences and press alike by presenting exhilarating shows that combine the charm of Svetlana's sultry swinging vocals, with the excitement, power, and unpredictable improvisational aspects of her "little big band."
Kinetic, cultured, and connected, this internationally renowned, Grammy Award–nominated quartet has been creating positive, loving, and socially conscious music for four decades. Audiences have come to rely on their music for spiritual fortification and inspiration for taking activist stances toward making this planet a better place.
Target Margin theater is an experimental group that works with both classic and contemporary texts to create innovative productions that are deeply literary and adventurous. Since 2011 Target Margin has dedicated its program to an investigation of Yiddish theater, art, and music, with productions, seminars, installations, and concerts. Yiddish literature is more startling, diverse, and sophisticated than you may think. If all you know is Fiddler, you need to go "Beyond the Pale!" Apostate, believer, lover, teacher—Uriel Acosta is all of them. And he is too much for the Jews of Amsterdam in the 17th century. When they excommunicate him, a struggle ensues in the soul of every thinking, feeling being. This play was a classic of Yiddish theater, performed in dozens of versions in theaters all over the world. Now Target Margin Theater is preparing our own version, a Uriel Acosta for today.
The Secret Trio is made up of three uniquely talented musicians—Ara Dinkjian, Tamer Pinarbasi, and Ismail Lumanovski—who came together to create a new type of music not bound to a single tradition.
This hip horn-driven quintet draws on a range of influences, like Latin jazz and cantorial tropes,to forge a dance-friendly sound. The band's sound is rooted in the personal history of bandleader Jeremiah Lockwood, whose storied education included singing in the choir of his grandfather, Cantor Jacob Konigsberg and over a decade of playing in the subways of New York City with Piedmont Blues legend Carolina Slim.
Theater of War Productions works with leading film, theater, and television actors to present dramatic readings of seminal plays—from classical Greek tragedies to modern and contemporary works—followed by town hall-style discussions designed to confront social issues by drawing out raw and personal reactions to themes highlighted in the plays. The guided discussions underscore how the plays resonate with contemporary audiences and invite audience members to share their perspectives and experiences, helping to break down stigmas and foster empathy, compassion, and a deeper understanding of complex issues.
Vaadat Charigim is a shoegaze/dream pop trio consisting of Yuval Haring (guitar, vocals), Yuval Guttman (drums), and Dan Fabian Bloch (bass). The band formed in 2012 in Tel Aviv. ALLMUSIC GUIDE has described their sound as “a holy hybrid of Ride’s wistful dreaminess and Slowdive’s protracted druggy slow-motion guitar haze”. Since their inception in 2012, the band has been very influential on the Israeli rock scene, due to their widely covered debut LP, and their rapidly growing international following.
The Vanaver Caravan was established in 1972 by musician/composer Bill Vanaver and dancer/choreographer Livia Drapkin Vanaver. The legendary activist and folk singer Pete Seeger, a longtime supporter of The Vanaver Caravan, is the inspiration for their new program, Turn, Turn, Turn. This new addition to the repertoire allows the audience to take a journey through American history, focusing on America during the period from the 1930s to the 1970s.
Vertigo is a contemporary dance company, offering a physical meeting place for artists and audience and taking the viewer every time to a new or an unexpected, exciting, and challenging journey into unfamiliar territories. It represents international standards of artistic excellence, with a social and community touch. Vertigo invites you to experience a performance outside the confines of the theater, within a portable dome open to the elements. You are brought back to experience ancient theater, where audience and performers were exposed to the visual, auditory, and sensory natural world, with all the beauty as well as challenges this environment provides. Birth of the Phoenix is a dynamic site-specific creation, adapting to the qualities of each performance site, in response to the heartbeat and rhythm of the environment, the specific ecosystem, and the season.
Waterwell is a New York–based company of artists dedicated to the collaborative creation of new works for the theatrer. It was founded in 2002 and since then has created eight original plays, two cabarets, and a staged reading. Its continually evolving body of work encompasses original plays, adaptations of classic texts, solo shows, and performance pieces. For each venture, the actors, writers, directors, composers, musicians, and designers work collectively to build the piece from the ground up.
The writer and artist Bruno Schulz, a Polish Jew who transmogrified everyday village life into something rich and strange, may not be well known outside of Europe, but his devotees in the U.S. include author John Updike, composer John Zorn and REDCAT. The Last Escape, Wroclawski Teatr Lalek's (Wroclaw Puppet Theater) stage adaptation of one of Schulz's short stories, is clearly influenced by Franz Kafka—the multilingual Schulz (1892–942) apparently translated The Trial into Polish; he also shared something of the spirit of Lewis Carroll. "Poetry happens when short circuits of sense occur," Schulz once argued, and like a Mad Hatter of Mitteleuropa, he invented such illogical delights as rooms lined with snores, fathers who turned into wallpaper, and time so revisited that it could be sold as secondhand. The Last Escape centers on Jozef, a pensioner trying to escape his isolation. Jozef discovers a corner of his room where time and space are suspended and he is able to travel back into his mythical childhood memories and dreams.
Iraqi-Israeli musician Yair Dalal is a prolific composer, violinist, and oud player dedicated to building bridges of music between the different cultures his heritage bound him to. Dalal was born in 1955 to Iraqi-born parents who had recently immigrated to Israel. He was raised in Israel on a kibbutz, and grew up studying violin in the Western mode. In 1982, a performance with Bedouin musicians in the Sinai led Dalal to look to his own heritage for musical inspiration. Dalal developed a synthesis of Arabic and Jewish sounds, and used his music to campaign for peace between the two cultures. The '90s saw numerous releases from Dalal, both as a soloist and with the Al Ol Ensemble. He continued to expand his musical language, drawing on the music of the desert and mixing its strings and melodies with instrumentation and influences from Europe, the Middle East, and Asia. Dalal was also tireless peace advocate. In 1994, he performed in Oslo at a celebration to honor the first anniversary of the peace accords with a chorus of Palestinian, Israeli, and Norwegian children. The performance illustrated Dalal's commitment not only to the universal power of music, but to its ability to unite cultures and communities in strife. In 2002, he was nominated by the BBC World Service for a BBC Radio 3 World Music Award. While he did not take the award home, the nomination validated Dalal's work as both a musician and an advocate for peace.
Levy combines the two cultures of Ladino and flamenco, while mixing in Middle Eastern influences. She embarks on a 500-year-old musical journey, taking Ladino to Andalusia and mixing it with flamenco, the style that still bears the musical memories of the old Moorish and Jewish-Spanish world with the sound of the Arab world. In a way it is a 'musical reconciliation of history..
Yehonatan Geffen is an Israeli poet, playwright, novelist, songwriter, narrator, journalist, art critic, satirist, commentator, and atranslator. Geffen created and co-created some of Israel’s most classical and successful songs ever and collaborated with many singers, including Arik Einstein, Gidi Gov, David Broza, Isaac Klafter, Yehuda Poliker, Matti Caspi, Rami Kleinstein, Rita, and Ariel Zilber. At the age of 19 he wrote his first children’s book,a collection of funny notes and letters he wrote to his 4-year-old sister, Anat, whichwas a best-seller. His biggest success is the children’s book Hakeves HaShisha Asar (The Sixtee Sheep). In 1978 the book’s poems were madeby Yoni Rechter into an album of the same name. The album is still considered to be groundbreaking in the field of children’s poetry and is one of the best-selling albums in Israeli music’s history. Geffen created dozens of entertainment and satire shows that gained huge success, featuring sketches, Hebrew versions of English songs, and many guest appearances by the biggest artists in Israel. Most of the shows were also recorded as albums. In the last few years, Geffen collaborated with the new generation of Israeli musicians, including his son Aviv Geffen, Daniel Solomon, Dana Adini, and more.
In 2010, singer and composer Ravid Kahalani founded the rare combination of top musicians we now call Yemen Blues. From the start, Yemen Blues created an original sound that became a new language in contemporary music. The intense musicians hail from NYC, Uruguay, and Tel Aviv. This includes the core members Rony Iwryn, Itamar Doari, Itamar Borochov, and Shanir Blumenkranz. Each member comes from a different background and brings their own sound and arrangements to Ravid’s compositions. The result of this amazing group is a powerful energy that mixes Yemenite, West African, andJazz influences. The mambo and North African rhythms create a joyful and deep foundation, while the vocals remind the listener of ancient Arabic chants mixed with funk and blues. For their first album, the group collaborated with the well-known maestro Omer Avital ,who served as a musical director and producer. Since then, Yemen Blues keeps magic alive with a constant stream of new songs and their world-renowned exciting live performances.
This humorous and enchanting show features a dancing wizard who wants to test his magical powers and his imagination. The wizard brings a dance company and the audience on an interactive journey of imagination. Yossi Yungman, one of Israel's greatest dance artists, has created a colorful fantasy in motion that is enchanting for family audiences.
ZviDance exists to share with audiences the choreographic vision and movement vocabulary of Israeli-born artistic director Zvi Gotheiner. Each piece defines a unique set of relationships and experiences, boldly addressing the depths of the human experience. ZviDance also exists to engage students in enriching their appreciation of the art form. ZviDance brings its audiences a passionate vision of community in a modern age. A collaborative alliance among artists, the company's stirring work celebrates diversity by melding movement genres into the distinct dance vocabulary, constantly evolving and refusing to succumb to dialectics of the medium. The company is shaped by a collaborative model of creation, involving the ensemble and designers from the initial research phase, so as to constantly push the methodology and ethics of a creation process within an interdisciplinary format.
Zion80 explores Jewish music— from Carlebach to Zorn and everything in between— through the lens of the Afrobeat funk master Fela Anikulapo Kuti. Led by Jon Madof (Rashanim, Matisyahu), the 11-piece band arranges Jewish melodies using the polyrhythmic intensity of Afrobeat, blended with the madness of the downtown scene. Madof’s most ambitious project to date, Zion80 is blazing hot and tight as a drum. Spiritual, grooving, and endlessly exciting, this is essential Jewish music for the 21st century.
An up-and-coming Chassidic soul band, Zusha has been performing to sold-out houses at NYC's best venues. Their debut album launched to number 9 on Billboard's world music chart.